Saturday, February 18, 2012

Little Men

I thought of this picture soon after I decided to start the blog. It feels like a good way to begin.... Thirteen years ago, we had moved into an old house and had a massive list of projects, very little money, AND a two year old. Our answer to most of the flaws in our new, "home sweet home", was paint. The actual needs of our garage included an electronic opener, new door, replaced trim, service door, and roof. We managed to do most of those things over time (still waiting on the new roof) but slapped on a coat of whitewash immediately.

My memories of the garage painting are helpful lessons still:
  1. Everybody in a family can help and pitch in.
  2. Even the smallest kids like to feel big and important.
  3. Patience and zen-like calm are transformational.
  4. Things don't have to be perfect to be pretty great, and-
  5. You can't build skills and self-esteem and confidence without a little mess.
Our son got to think of himself as a little man, taking on a big job for the family. The other side of the story of course is that it probably took longer to wash all the latex paint out of his hair than he actually spent painting. The garage painting project may have only taken off when naptime kicked in, but for our son, dad helped him paint the garage.


  1. Whenever my mom comes to visit us she has the boys help with everything and it always reminds me that I could do this more. She has the patience and zen-like calm you mention. My boys are always so proud to tell us about all of things they helped with during their day with Nanna.

  2. just came here after reading your most recent post, and it really resonated with me. we have some things in common: my son is also 15, we've lived in our house just a bit longer, but we too fixed everything with paint (and electric tape). I let my kids help paint our living room purple when my daughter was two and my son 5. two kids dripping purple paint running around the house definately took some "zen-like calm." Oh, and we both have a green blog (which i don't find very common)--although i'm thinking of changing mine for something new on my upcoming "blogaversary" - although i think that's now and i haven't made it happen yet! anyway, i've been reading for a while now and enjoying your blog!

    1. Thanks Deb. Green is my favorite color. It calms me. Good to have your shared experience weighing in here. Happy Anniversary!